Collecting data toward a particular end, processing these data through mathematics and programming sciences, analyzing it with graphics, charts, and other visual materials, monitoring inter-correlations of the collected data (their interrelations) and forecasting applications all fall within the remit of statistics. Statistics, in a sense, may be likened to journalism; you follow the traces of things and you reach a result, and that result is a newsworthy piece of information.What renders it different from journalism is the attempts to attain objective results based on numbers. Statistics can be defined as a theoretical science intended to be used for practical purposes.
Statistics is a science needed by almost all branches of science. Social disciplines like sociology and psychology as well as sciences such as medicine, economics, business administration, actuarial (insurance), mathematics, and physics are all in need of statistics. In addition, there are statistical authorities of all states. These institutions determine the policies of states by continuously collecting statistics and keeping reports of them, and they also function as a feedback mechanism by assessing and measuring what has been done so far in addition to what was not possible to do. For example, it is in reality through official statistical agencies that we find out about the results of population censuses, literacy rates, unemployment data, and import and export figures; information that we normally get from television or newspapers. In the light of these statistics, states may decide to implement drastic policy changes. For example, by looking at the statistics that reveal a rise in inflation a government may launch economic reforms, or it may take steps to improve health conditions by looking at the statistics showing an increase in the infant mortality rate. International institutions produce statistics on countries and prepare scorecards for them based on the gathered data. For example, human development index examines countries' attitudes toward human rights and publishes its statistical findings.
Just like states, most commercial enterprises such as research companies, banks, and stock exchanges make adjustments in their policies for the future of their own institutions by using statistics, thereby also weighing out whether their actions so far were in the right direction. Statistics is an indispensable science particularly in the field of economics.
Why Department of Statistics in Turkey?
Parallel to the great improvements it has recently achieved in the social and economic spheres, Turkey is rapidly heading towards an ambitious position in the field of higher education too. Most of our well-established universities have statistics departments. Students wishing to pursue an academic career in the science of statistics are offered masters and doctoral programs in the field.
Turkey's active and dynamic population and its performance mean that there is a great need for the science of statistics. The reason is, with every passing decade the country undergoes major changes, and these changes can be understood and evaluated through the contributions made by the science of statistics. Aware of this great need, our universities attach the due importance and attention to the statistics departments.
The Turkish Statistical Institute working under the Prime Ministry dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. Actually going back to the 14th century, Turkey's statistical experience was first formalized with the census of 1830. Turkey's growing success in the field of statistics comes from its statisticians trained in its own universities.
The following subjects are taught in the statistics departments in Turkey:
The course of probability(in fact a course of mathematics), that aims at teaching theories of probability; the course of the basics of statistics that serves as an introduction to the science of statistics; the course of Calculus in which mathematical concepts such as limit, derivative, integral, and vectors that are commonly used in statistics; courses like C, or C++ that aim to teach students of statistics at least one programming language; and analytical geometry given to teach coordinate systems and its related applications. Among the courses given in addition to these are Information Technology and Applications, Report Writing Techniques, Statistical Methods, Statistical Calculations, Mathematical Statistics, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Data Analysis, and Regression Analysis.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
Statistics is a department for the student who loves mathematics. As is understood from the courses mentioned just above, mathematics occupies a very large space in statistics. However, statistics, as distinct from mathematics, reaches practical results since it examines concrete data through abstract tools. For example, a statistician who has obtained the unemployment rate of the last five months through a set of calculations processes the various groups of data he/she has gathered from various sectors to reach a result, analyzes them and compares them to a previous set of results. As is the case with most sciences, statistics takes patience and perseverance too. Nevertheless, statistics is an exciting and enjoyable science as it is a direction-setting field that is constantly needed.
The graduates of statistics departments have the opportunity to be employed in national and international public and private companies. In addition to public institutions, research companies, banks, stock exchanges, and in short most commercial entities comprise the essential working areas of statistics graduates.